McCormack welcomes medicine breakthrough
RIVERINA and Central west residents being treated for leukaemia and lymphoma will soon have affordable access to a new medicine.
Ibrutinib (sold as Imbruvica®) would normally cost $187,390 on average per course of treatment, putting it beyond the reach of most patients, said the Nationals’ Member for Riverina, Michael McCormack.
But from December 1 it will cost a maximum of $38.80 per treatment and just $6.30 for concessional patients, Mr McCormack said.
This $466 million listing on the pharmaceutical benefits scheme will save patients hundreds of thousands of dollars. More than 920 Australians each year will benefit from the initiative.
“Patients being treated for leukaemia and lymphoma face very serious health challenges and I am delighted the Liberals and Nationals’ Government has taken this very welcome step to ease the financial pressures that always come with long-term treatments, especially for regional and rural patients,” Mr McCormack said.
“Patients being treated for leukaemia and lymphoma face very serious health challenges and I am delighted the Government has taken this very welcome step to ease the financial pressures that always come with long-term treatments, especially for regional and rural patients,” Mr McCormack said.
Mr McCormack said the concessions would be available to eligible patients with relapsed or refractory chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) or small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL). Ibrutinib is used when CLL or SLL has progressed or has not responded to first line treatment with chemo-immuno-therapy.
It is significantly more effective than the treatments currently available through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).
The Liberals and Nationals in Government have added around $7.5 billion worth of medicines to the PBS since coming into office. More than 60 new cancer medicines or amended listings have been approved by the Government since October, 2013.
This includes new treatments for advanced pancreatic cancer, melanoma, advanced breast cancer, ovarian cancer and lung cancer. One in every six dollars of PBS expenditure is spent on cancer medicines.
Ken Grimson – 0439 550 506